Northwest Arkansas Weekly Fishing Report – March 3, 2011

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Beaver Lake
As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,111.73 feet MSL (Normal conservation pool – 1,120 MSL).
Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said striper fishing has been slow, but it’s improving. It is time to start checking the flats on sunny days. Water temperatures climbing slowly, and walleye spawning will begin soon. The white bass should make their runs up the creek arms right after the walleye. By mid-march the spawning runs should be gaining momentum. The best approach is free lines or balloons with 3- or 4-inch baits in the backs of coves. Stripers can also be taken with no. 9 Rapala originals or Husky Jerks and/or Rattling Rogues flat-line trolled; use planer boards to spread your lines and cover shallow water near the bank as you troll. Move Rapalas at a speed of about 1.5-2 mph. On the mid- and lower sections of the lake, check out the following areas: The mouth of Indian creek; the mouth of Big Clifty; Rocky Branch in the cove for Larue boat ramp and check the Van Hollow, Rambo and Fords creek arms. In the upper section of the lake, look in the back of Prairie Creek and the flats off the islands; pay close attention to the flats next to the main river channel. There’s been some fish activity in Coose Hollow as well. Large schools of shad are in the back of Blackburn Creek and Monte-Ne, and anglers are doing well on free-lined shad. Start looking for fish activity to pick up in Hickory Creek and the White River/War Eagle junction as the water warms. Walleye should start moving into position to begin spawning and will be staging near the inlets. Most walleye will be about 10-20 feet deep off points and mid-stream humps. Three-way rigs fished with crawlers or Rapalas are producing well. Use a 14-inch dropper to your sinker and a 4-foot leader to your bait. If you are familiar with lead core or wire lines then now is the time to use them in conjunction with a Rapala or Rogue. Chartreuse/orange color variations for your crawler harnesses and Rapalas in natural blue or black back combos are producing. Troll crawlers and Rapalas at about 1/4 to 1/2 mph, moving just fast enough to keep your lure from hanging up. Pull the lure forward in 2-3 foot sweeps as you go, the bite will occur on the drop back. Try drifting jigs baited with minnows, bounced along the bottom with a slow lift and drop, move very slowly, slipping down current or try back trolling. Remember to use the lightest jig possible while still maintaining bottom contact. You can also slowly drift Rapala Shad Raps across shallow flats in the river.
JT’s Crappie Guide Service (479-640-3980) said bass have been biting well in the afternoons on chartreuse/white double willow blade spinnerbaits around timber and lay down trees. In the mornings, try a watermelon or green pumpkin jig dressed with a craw chunk around docks and timber along sloping chunk rock banks. Crappie fishing continues to be best in the afternoon using a Bobby Garland Baby Shad under a cork 3 to 5 feet around pole timber, lay downs and brush close to creek channels. For cloudy or cool days, try fishing a tube jig or Shineee Hineee jig tipped with a minnow just off the bottom near brush on ledges in 15 to 25 feet of water. The best area has been the White River upstream from War Eagle Marina. White bass have begun showing up half way up both river arms on warm afternoons. They have been biting chartreuse Shineee Hineees, small Rat-L-Traps and curly tailed grubs. Fish have been holding on flats with timber close to the channel. Catfishing has been slow; try liver from the bank at the 412 or 12 bridge areas.
Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) had no report.
Beaver Tailwater
Just Fishing Guides said plenty of low water has allowed excellent fishing for wading anglers. Midge fishing continues to be the more consistent method for both numbers and size of fish. Scuds, sow bugs and small olive streamers are producing well.
Kings River
Just Fishing Guides said water levels are 4.43 feet and 863 cfs at the Grandview bridge. Water temperatures have been averaging in the low 50s. Best bets for flies will be patterns that hug the bottom, such as crawdad and darter/sculpin imitations. Patterns like the Clouser madtom, darter and minnow, crazy dads and creek crawlers and sparkle grubs should work well. In the lower river, walleye and white bass should begin to stage for the spawn. Minnows and crawdads will be the best baits.
Lake Fayetteville
Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is dingy and high. Bass are fair on soft-plastic lures. No report on any other species.
Lake Sequoyah
Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water is dingy to clear and the surface temperature is 48 degrees. No report.